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Murderous Minotaurs and Lethal Lycanthropes: Legendary Reviewed


                                                 “Officer down. All units please respond!”

One has to appreciate the bravado of developer Spark Unlimited in naming their latest game, Legendary. While the title brings together an assortment of antagonists culled from literary and oral tradition, one expects the gameplay to be illustrious in nature. Although it is unlikely critics will be discussing Legendary’s merits in years to come, the title still offers a decent, yet blemished journey for first person shooter fans.

The game opens as main character Charles Deckard attempts to pilfer Pandora’s Box, which is on display at a prominent New York museum. While Deckard may be a master crook; he’s no authority of mythology; he unknowingly opens the artifact and releases havoc upon our world. While the narrative may lack sophistication, the game’s blending of mythological creatures in urban settings is a wonderful intermingling that is reminiscent of critical darling The Darkness. Like Spark Unlimited’s, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, that saw an alternative universe where the Nazis were victorious during WWII, gameplay doesn’t quite measure up to the title’s narrative possibilities.


                                               This is what happens when you feed them after midnight.

Controlling Deckard is functional, but lacks refinement. Players use the two stick control method traditional of most shooters, but the title lacks Halo 3’s subtle target tracking or Call of Duty 4’s aim assist. Players will know ballistics will connect with adversaries when the targeting reticule changes from blue to red. While this is serviceable, it is also exploitable for long-range foes half-buried in cover. Strangely, the game’s vertical jump is vastly underpowered; clearing ground debris is often cumbersome.

Several balance issues adversely affect Legendary’s gameplay. Unlike most FPS’s, which dole out an ever-increasingly lethal arsenal, the title’s first weapon, an ax, is excessively powerful. While normal enemies require a barrage of bullets to defeat, a few swings of the ax subdues foes instantly. Activating environmental triggers and absorbing health dropped by defeated enemies is both painfully slow and frustrating. Additionally it leaves you open to enemy attacks, and was the frequent cause of our demise.



However, Legendary does offer the gamers a number of satisfying subtleties. We enjoyed how enemies would react to fir-; shoot some beasts in the head, and they will instinctively cover their face with their limbs. Both friendly and enemy AI is surprisingly intelligent and refined; human foes will bound between covered positions in an astute attempt to flank the player, while beasts tend to swarm in packs. When Legendary moves the firefight to open environments, the game gets unexpectedly immersive. As a certified gun nut, I appreciated the title’s licensed weapons, although the recoil on many firearms is a bit contrived. 

Graphically, the game creates an atmospheric depiction of a post-apocalyptic New York. Using a palette of cool blues and dusty browns, the game environments convey a creepy sense of destruction and imminent danger. Despite a 4.5 GB install on the PS3, the game’s unskippable cinematics were prone to fits to slowdown. While Legendary‘s framerate runs effortlessly in closed hallways, action can slow in open areas filled with enemies. The game’s single multiplayer offering ran fairly lag-free, although there was a scarce amount of people playing online.


                        A bit of Gears of War inspiration never hurt anyone. Except this firedrake here.

This season, most FPS fans will rightfully gravitate toward the triple-A titles: Gears of War 2, Resistance 2, and Call of Duty: World at War. If you’ve haven’t picked up those titles, we cannot recommend Legendary over those exceptional games. However, for the player that has completed those epics, and still craves a competent shooter may want to take a look at Legendary. While lacking polish, the game has a handful on innovations that veteran games might appreciate, especially at it’s current retail price of thirty dollars.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

43 comments

  1. First.

    I heard this game was ok from Shipwreck.

  2. Thirty dollars is still too much, even for a title with some interesting things.

    Ill bite at $15/$20

  3. Didn’t IGN give it a 1.5?

  4. Shite with dogs and giant chickens.

  5. I’m a sucker for FPS and will probably rent or buy this If I can find it cheap. Good job not just tearing the game apart. It sounded like you actually ‘reviewed’ the game unlike alot of sites.

  6. I hard the game was ugly; the graphics seem pretty decent. They do look a bit like a GoW ripoff though.

  7. Is the framerate any better on the 360 version?

  8. I heard this was a awful turd.

  9. Is the game supposed to be scary? Because those pics don’t really look too menacing.

  10. This was one of the poorest rated games of the year and you’re giving it a C?

  11. Game informer gave it a 6.5/6.25 which would probably be a bit better than a C. And that was when the game was full price.

  12. I bet you gave it an extra grade becuz Desert Eagles are in the game, huh?

  13. I got the game used. It’s pretty shitty, but not as bad as many of the gamecock-hatin’ sites are saying.

    I had a bit of fun withit, but yeah, buy Gears.

  14. Sounds kinda meh.

  15. Yeah, $15 may be the magic number.

  16. I’ll stick with resistance 2.

  17. The werewolves look like shaved dogs.

  18. I thought this game looked alright. More of a rental than an actual must buy.

  19. Yeah, not scary at all. Maybe texturing all the fur would have killed the PS3.

  20. Good title. You guys have reduced that to a science.

  21. I bought it a week ago, finished it, and will probably not play it again.

    I agree with the review, especially the rating.

  22. Wasn’t there a capcom FPS for the xbox that has werewolves in it?

  23. I was incredibly excited about this game when I first heard about it and read about it. But then these punishing reviews sadden me :(.

  24. Never did read anything great about this game from reviewers. I liked the mythical creatures aspect of it back when I heard about it but after seeing screen shots and gameplay videos for it; it kind of wore off. I thought about renting it when I saw it but with everything else out, it may be awhile if ever.

  25. Great review, DE — very well written, concise, and you provided precise reasons to justify your final score. (Hah, I didn’t mean that to sound so much like a GRE reader’s comments, but there you have it!)

    I can’t see myself buying this game unless I get an amazing deal on it. As you said, there are too many superior FPS games to spend time or money on ‘Legendary’.

  26. Great concept.Poor execution. I was hyped up for this and Turning Point but those were duds. Not worth a buy from me unless it was $10-15.

  27. From the first time I saw a preview for this game I was never anything more than underwhelmed.

  28. Sounds so-so.

  29. A well written review, I played the game and think its sad everyone is shitting on it. Its not really too bad at all.

  30. I had hopes for Legendary but it’s just doesn’t live up to the epicness it describes.

  31. good review
    but….

  32. Great Review. Since the game is only $20 or so at the local circuit city, I might pick it up. I am a sucker for games that let me kill mythological and fictional creatures.

    Hopefully it’ll be a hidden gem much like Dark Sector was.

  33. Wow, I stumbled upon this site not expected much, and really enjoyed your reviews. They are very well written and rival the output of the big guys IGN/1Up.

    Bookmarked- keep up the great work.

  34. Excellent review!

  35. Might give this game a try in the future but I have a lot of games in my to play pile. Interesting concept though.

  36. i must admit. i loved the premise. nothing beats gunning down mythical beasts. i always wanted to have more fantasy/sci-fi like shooters that just didnt involve aliens for once.

    unfortunately, it seems this game has fell to what i call the “Haze Syndrome”

    a competent game in itself, but just so mediocre compared to other shooters. Not to say its bad at all, its just well. average…

    was really upset to see this get such low reviews though from sites, especially IGN’s frigging 2… same thing with Haze and the 4.5… these game review sites are so screwed up anymore, i really wonder why we even trust them anymore. it seems all “big” game journalism sites value these days is “innovation” doesnt matter how fun a game is these days, if it was done before, it gets a low score.

    enough rambling though, im sure this game would be fun, i just am pretty sure we cant expect anything groundbreaking from it, and thats fine. i buy games for fun. thats the way it should be

    nice review

  37. Thanks for the review on this. I just found your post from CAG and this was actually a game I was semi-interested in before it launched, but has mostly been torn apart by reviews. I don’t really trust most of the reviewers since many are biased and aren’t really gamers, so I will likely be checking your reviews again.

    This game will likely be a $10 pick up for me, I have paid the same for what sounds like better.

  38. Great review, I’ll definitely be checking out the demo on my Xbox later.

    It’s interesting how many games get compared to Gears of War now. Dark Sector, which I own but have yet to play, has been called GoW with a glaive. And with visuals like the last screenshot above where you mention the Gears similarity.

    Maybe I’m some kind of FPS veteran, but Gears will never look totally unique to me since I’ve been a lifelong Unreal Tournament fan. Sure, GoW doesn’t look like the first one but the basic style starts creeping up in 2k3/4 and hits you in the face with III.

    I guess I’m just taking the long way around to say it would please the hardcore nerd in me to say games look like Unreal Tournament rather than Gears of War 🙂

  39. I personally was a little excited when I first heard about this game. I love the premise; the fact that you get to kill mythical beast in a modern city is unique in itself. Unfortunately after seeing the reviews (and this one) and watching some videos; I was completely underwhelmed.

    This title had so much potential that I kinda felt bad that it didn’t live up to it’s somewhat big hype. I’d have to categorize this with The Darkness, another game with similar disappointment. However I won’t let reviews stop me from ever trying out the game, I could very well love the Legendary, while others may find it bad; but I might have to consider waiting a little bit more until the prices drop for me to finally try out the game.

    All in all great review! This further solidifies my opinion and feelings of the game. I’m definitely looking forward to more of your reviews.

  40. Game looks interesting, Downloaded the demo but haven’t played it yet. Great review!

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